Irwin S. Smith Oral History Interview

July 28, 1982; September 10, 1982
Oral History #OH0074
Smith, Irwin S.; Lennon, Donald R.
Physical description
0.01 Cubic Feet, 2 audiocassettes, 3 hours, 94 pages
Preferred Citation
Irwin S. Smith Oral History Interview (#OH0074), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Biographical/historical information

Mr. Smith and three other employees of British-American Tobacco Company left North Carolina for China in 1930, where he served as a tobacco buyer in the interior of China. He married Miss Hal Grimes in 1940 and she accompanied him back to China. With the outbreak of war with Japan in 1941, wives were evacuated but Mr. Smith was interned by the Japanese for some months before being exchanged in 1943. He returned to China in 1945 but was forced to flee when the Communist overran the country in 1949.

Scope and arrangement

These interviews reflect the experiences of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Commentary relates to tobacco interests and operations, the Chinese people, War Lords, Japanese invasion of China, and life in a Japanese prison.

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of Irwin S. Smith

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

General note


Key terms
Personal Names
Smith, Hal.
Smith, Irwin S.
Corporate Names
British American Tobacco Company
British-American Tobacco Company--Employees
Prisoners of war--Japan
Prisoners of war--United States
Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945
Tobacco industry--China
Tobacco industry--China--Employees
World War, 1939-1945--China